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Black History Month & Family Events

6 October 2017 by Sarah

Yazz Vanducci, author of this blog – is an Education Demonstrator at the Museum. Here’s Yazz laying out items for a family session about the Museum and the history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade!

This week’s blog is by Yazz Vanducci, Education Demonstrator at the Museum. It highlights our events for Black History Month, as well as updating you on what’s happening for families! –

“What a busy time it’s been for the team at the International Slavery Museum! Firstly, we celebrated Slavery Remembrance Day (our 18th one) on 23 August and now we are in Black History Month.

“Before I mention what’s going on for Black History Month, I would like to tell you some the new and exciting projects our team have been working on.

“These include new family sessions exploring African myths and legends where we look at the many different stories from all over Africa and then create some of the characters from the stories.

“You can also come to our gallery and learn about the Underground Railroad and some of the heroic journeys that people undertook as well as the people themselves like Harriet Tubman and William and Ellen Craft. We also have an amazing new learning game that was designed by Belvedere History Club with the International Slavery Museum and artist Hwa Young Jung which you can try out – I even had a hand in designing some of the images for it!

“Now for the musically minded,  why not drop into our Mbaye African Drumming session this Sunday, 8 October, with amazing urban griot  Karin Mbaye. I will be holding the door of the Anthony Walker Education Centre open to welcome you and may be joining in drumming with Karim too. The excitement doesn’t stop there either, as later on that day you can also join Karim for Stories from Senegal, an interactive story telling session for families.

Some of the items we might show you in our family sessions, depending which one you choose to join!

“We also have Nina Simone in focus, yet another free drop in event the Anthony Walker Education Centre 14th October at 1-2pm. So why not come and join poetess Empress-Jai for her presentation celebrating the life of Nina Simone.

“Finally, you can join us for an amazing tour of our new exhibition, Ink and blood: Stories of abolition with our visitor hosts Danny and John to explore the ending of slavery through ink (key documents) and blood (people involved).

“We can’t forget that the International Slavery Museum is now 10 years old and we have lots more exciting things coming up for you to and me to do during our 10th anniversary programme so drop by the museum to see us and get involved.”

Zine Queen blogs on Saturday’s free workshop

2 August 2017 by Sarah

 

This Saturday (5 August), come and explore self-publishing as a creative method of activism in our free workshop on zine-making! Inspired by our Art of Solidarity exhibition, which closes this weekend. Here, Seleena Laverne Daye, who will be running the event, blogs about zines, identity and activism: Read more…

Uncover the secrets of the Underground Railroad – with computers!

20 July 2017 by Sarah

This is a secret symbol or quilt code to communicate ‘safe house’. It will be included in the Underground Railroad computer game. Credit: Belvedere Academy History Club

How do you create a “choose-your-own-adventure” computer game about a hidden history that was conducted in secret, out of sight and under the cover of darkness? This task was explored by five remarkable students from Belvedere Academy as they created a series of scenarios, each with choices and consequences based upon the Underground Railroad, the code name for a network of secret routes, places and people that aided fugitives in the United States escape from Slave States to Free States.

The project will be showcased on 27 July and 23 August as part of the Museum’s 10th anniversary programme of free events and talks, including its Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations Read more…

A collector’s eye: OSPAAAL posters

14 February 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Mike Tyler is the collector and architect who owns the striking array of 32 Organisation in Solidarity with the People of Africa, Asia, and Latin America (OSPAAAL) posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike what he looks for when adding to the collection:

“The bulk of my collection dates from OSPAAAL’s founding in 1966 to the mid 70s, which is referred to as the ‘Golden Period’ of Cuban poster art. It is no coincidence this was a time of great political and social unrest with the civil rights movement, Vietnam War, Watergate scandal and struggles against apartheid all providing fuel to creative fire.

Many collectors are interested in the politics whilst some have an affinity with Cuba. For me, the appeal is their artistic merit, which has long been revered in the world of both propaganda art and graphic design. In terms of desirability, there is a big collectors market for civil rights and Black power material so these posters command the highest demand. Posters featuring Che, Nixon or the more well know conflicts such as the Vietnam War have a broader appeal. Then you have the more renowned artists such as Alfredo Rostgaard, Rene Menderos, Jesus Forjans & Faustino Perez who created some of the most iconic posters.

Day of Solidarity with the Congo, 1972 by Alfrédo Juan González Rostgaard. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

In terms of the actual posters, given they are paper and were designed to put up on walls, that means stains, tears, holes etc are to be expected. Considering their age, the fact they even exist is impressive but for the serious collectors condition is important.  Provided they aren’t too bad, I don’t mind a few scars as they show they have been used as intended. The posters were issued folded within Tricontinental magazine so for me fold-lines are a good thing as it implies they are originals rather than later print runs.

I also like to know a little about the person who owned the posters before me. To date I’ve dealt with musicians, activists, curators, journalists, TV presenters, antique book dealers and even the artists themselves. It all adds to their story.”

Don’t miss our series of free events planned throughout the Art of Solidarity exhibition.

Mike Tyler- Why I started collecting solidarity posters

25 January 2017 by Sarah

Tricontinental Conference – 3rd Anniversary, 1969 by Alfredo Juan Gonzalez Rostgaard. Copyright: Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive.

Mike Tyler is the architect and collector who owns the fantastic array of 32 posters currently on display in our Art of Solidarity exhibition. We asked Mike how and why he started collecting these Cuban posters, designed to support freedom movements around the world:    

“I’m often asked why I started collecting Cuban posters and the truth is, it kind of just happened. As a visual person I’m drawn to design, graphics, photography, street art etc, so when I first stumbled across a batch of these posters, I could see they were something special.  Read more…

Curator’s view: Art of Solidarity

13 January 2017 by Sarah

Day of Solidarity with the People of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, 1968. By Berta Abelenda Fernandez. Copyright: ‘Courtesy Lincoln Cushing and Docs Populi Archive’.

Today we are pleased to open our new exhibition at the International Slavery Museum, ‘Art of Solidarity: Cuban posters for African liberation 1967 – 1989’. We asked curator Stephen Carl-Lokko to tell us what to expect:  Read more…

Don’t get scammed this season

5 December 2016 by Sarah

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

The displays in the Seized! gallery in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum highlight the issue of fake goods, or counterfeits.

These images show some recent counterfeit goods from our collection. They may look like things you’d want to receive as a Christmas present, or buy for a gift – but don’t be fooled!

For every genuine item that exists there is a counterfeited replica, as soon as a ‘new’ item enters the market the counterfeiters are never far behind to cash in on the products that we desire. Counterfeiters have no limits; they span all industries including clothing, electronics and toiletries.

Counterfeit items constantly change to reflect contemporary trends so it’s important to us that these changes and trends are documented through our display cases and our handling collection. Read more…

Hot off the Press: Black Panther Newspapers arrive at the International Slavery Museum

31 October 2016 by Sarah

One of the newspaper issues.

One of the Black Panther Intercommunal News Service newspaper issues. Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool

October is the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panther Party and Black History Month in the UK. So, what better time to announce our acquisition of twenty one copies of the ‘Black Panther Intercommunal News Service’ than today?  Read more…

Spotlight on: Slavery Remembrance Day

27 October 2016 by Sarah

The Libation ceremony

The Libation ceremony

In today’s blog we are taking a special look at Slavery Remembrance Day, which falls on 23 August.

The date is chosen by UNESCO – the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation – to commemorate a significant uprising of enslaved African men and women on the island of Saint-Domingue (modern Haiti) in 1791. This was instrumental to the downfall of the transatlantic slave trade. Read more…

Jon Daniel’s supa family reunions

25 October 2016 by Sarah

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Barbados family reunion, on board the Jolly Roger. That’s Jon, on the right! Courtesy of Jon Daniel.

Jon Daniel, whose collection features in our Afro Supa Hero exhibition, blogs about his earliest memories of family reunions and Bajan heritage for Black History Month, and ahead of the 50th anniversary of independence for Barbados on 30 November. He introduces a very special author too – his Aunty Jean. Jon says: Read more…



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Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.